It isn't easy seeing a senior loved one at home because one or more physical limitations puts them at a higher risk of falls and the associated injuries. It may require a bit more creativity, but planning safe activities to do with your senior creates opportunities for them to get out and enjoy their day.
Participate in senior center activities
Senior centers are becoming more common. You may think of them as just a place to go for a senior to enjoy a meal. Many allow and encourage younger family to join in for the meals and activities. The facility usually has activities planned beyond just their meal time.
Senior Centers have scheduled times for board games, sewing and crafting activities, computer lessons so they can stay connected to non-local family and many more ideas all geared towards the enjoyment and safety of the elderly.
The design of senior centers includes safety considerations, so you shouldn't have to assess before hand if bathrooms are accessible, if there are good grab bars for help with balance on stairs or in walkways, no trip hazards like area rugs and good lighting so seniors can easily see where they are stepping.
We love this option! Swimming is fun and it's good exercise. Whether you are swimming or just wading, being in the water creates full-body engagement. It lets us use stabilizer muscles that might fall into disuse in a more sedentary lifestyle. Not only is there no fall risk in the swimming pool; the body awareness and muscle strength that swimming cultivates can actually help reduce your loved one's risk of a fall.
Giving your loved one the gift of a massage, or getting massages together, is a wonderful way to increase blood flow, decrease muscle stiffness, and heighten body awareness. Massages can leave you less stressed and more calm...and they feel really good! This is a fun and low-risk activity that, like swimming, might actually leave an elder less likely to fall.
Explore wheel-chair accessible hikes
Do you live near any parks or wilderness areas with paved, wheel-chair accessible paths? If so, going on short hikes is another fantastic activity to do with elders. While walking, the path should be clear of obstacles and low-risk. If your companion gets tired and wants to rest, you'll be there with the wheel chair. Again, the strength building can actually decrease their risk of falling in the future.
Do yoga for seniors
Many community centers and assisted living facilities offer yoga classes geared towards seniors. Often the exercises are seated, and focus on stretching and gentle strengthening. Building muscle and body awareness will feel good, and be a protective factor against falling.
Go absolutely anywhere
With the right support, seniors should be able to go anywhere. If you are accompanying a senior on any activity, stay close. Pay close attention to their movements, and if possible, always stay within arm's reach. Holding hands or offering a steadying arm during walks can be helpful and reassuring. If your companion starts to stumble, place your hands on their hips -- or gait belt, if you are using one -- and help them regain their balance.
There are many safe ways to keep your senior social and active. At Caring Senior Service, our expert staff is comprised of extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and trusted professionals who take pride in helping your loved one manage their daily activities. Contact us today to learn more!